Rouen, France, May 1984, Sahasrara Puja (diary entry)
We have just returned from the Sahasrara Puja in France, a country where the ego is so strong. Shri Mataji was with us in Her form as Mahamaya – Her form in this incarnation. There were about three hundred and fifty Sahaja Yogis, from many countries. On the morning of the 5th May Shri Mataji described Her vision of when She opened the Sahasrara in 1970, and we were sitting in a meadow near the marvellous castle, five hundred years old, where we were staying.
At five in the evening everyone was ready in their saris, and white kurtas, in the church in the castle, where Shri Mataji decided to have the puja, for the first time in Sahaja Yoga. She was beautiful in a sari of intense red, which expressed Her joy, serenity and compassion perfectly. Her seat was a throne in the centre of the apse, where usually there would be an altar. She was surrounded by multicoloured flowers, and the multicoloured light of the stained glass, all illuminated by the rays of the sun.
Shri Mataji in the church
The Holy Trinity
It was such a great scene, and Shri Mataji seemed to be the pulsating heart at the centre of the petals of the Sahasrara. She was sat, chit and anand, the representation of God in Her complete form of truth, wisdom and joy, the trinity, as She said: in the aspect of detachment – the Father, compassion – the Mother and forgiveness – the Son. We were at Her Feet in total silence, rapt in this truly celestial vision, which we were incapable of understanding. Shri Mataji opened our hearts again and repeated, in Her discourse, that this is the only way to reach Her.
‘Surrender to your Mother’s Lotus Feet,’ She said, ‘this is the only way to open the Sahasrara.’
The only way to reach the Mother and the Father is through the Son, Shri Jesus and Shri Ganesha, who in His total dedication incarnated and died on the cross to open the narrow door of the Agnya so the Kundalini could rise and give us the resurrection. The sacrifice of Christ and the opening of the Sahasrara are strongly linked. The joy of all of us was so great and Shri Mataji expressed Her love for us Her children, with such sweetness that many of us were in tears.
The next day we again met Shri Mataji in the church. She asked us questions and clarified many points which were important and unclear, spoke of the necessity of respecting the leaders, and of the horizontal expansion of Sahaja Yoga. She told us not to be afraid to live and work in negative environments, because it is there that our role is most evident and important, and also spoke of the education of children.
The most joyful moment was when Shri Mataji distributed presents. In Her infinite diplomacy and love She called the name of each person who had already received a present of a sari, and told them to call another person, who as yet had not received a present, and to hand them over to them. It was so beautiful, a symbolic expression of the flow of divine love.
Shri Mataji blessed everyone, and prophesied new dimensions in the future, when we will not need Her physical presence, because She will appear beside us, for example, sitting on our bed, or in the street while walking.
Sahasrara Puja, Rouen, France 1984
The handbag from Bolivia
However busy Shri Mataji was, every day we expected Her to give a small lecture to all who were at Her house in London. These events were spontaneous and no one knew when they would take place, but they occurred every day. Shri Mataji would sit down and talk about Sahaja Yoga or any topic that was in Her attention. This was on top of any amount of personal interaction one might have had on the day with Her. The collective dimension was as important as the personal one, where Shri Mataji would talk, one to one, to a Sahaja Yogi and explain aspects of Sahaja Yoga relevant to that person’s needs. In retrospect, I’m still amazed that Shri Mataji treated us each of us with so much consideration.
In 1984, at Brompton Square, Shri Mataji was talking about Bolivia and what a great place it is, and how nice the Bolivian people are, and regretting very much that the native inhabitants had been mass-exterminated by the Spanish invaders. Shri Mataji also said that She had enjoyed visiting Bolivia on one occasion with Sir CP. At this point Shri Mataji’s handbag fell off from the settee where She was sitting and I picked it up and put it back next to Her.
As Shri Mataji continued to talk about Bolivia, the handbag fell on the floor a second time and I picked it up again. Then She said that Sir CP had taken Her shopping in Bolivia, and that all the prices were very favourable, and he had bought Her several leather handbags as well as pair of crocodile shoes with a matching handbag. The handbag fell to the floor yet again, and I put it back again next to Shri Mataji, and then She laughed.
‘Can you believe it?’ She said, looking at the handbag. Nobody had noticed that this was the very crocodile handbag Shri Mataji was talking about. ‘It must be the crocodile telling us, “It’s me, I’m here, I’m the one in the story”‘.
Shoes are the best!
Shri Mataji had a servant who was a bit difficult and he kept doing silly things. One thing he did was to hide Shri Mataji’s shoes.
‘He has hidden My shoes somewhere in this house and we have to try and find them,’ She said, so I had a look around. There was a big steel chest down in the basement. Shri Mataji came down in the afternoon and walked past it.
‘Have a look in there. Open up that chest,’ She said. I opened it up and it was like opening an air-conditioning unit. It had a coolness emanating from it, with all Her shoes in there, where the servant had been hiding them.
‘Shoes are the best! They’ve got so many vibrations,’ She looked at me and said. We laughed, ‘It’s amazing, these shoes are tremendous. Bring them upstairs.’ So I carried them upstairs, pressing them against my heart, because I could feel these incredible vibrations from each pair of shoes. I took them up one pair at a time, to Mother’s room. It took a lot longer, but I just enjoyed the moment of being able to hold Shri Mataji’s shoes against my chest.
Later, I remember cleaning Mother’s room one day and holding a pair of Her shoes against my chest, and feeling the power of the vibrations of these shoes. They were definitely the most vibrating thing around.
The manifestation of vibrations transforming the matter
Shri Mataji had some beautiful handmade Kashmiri silk rugs up on the second floor. She was walking across a rug, a rich red and navy blue one, with lots of colours and a very intricate pattern. As She walked across it the colours became richer. She had Her back to me and I was able to witness the colours move and change in a wave as She walked across it. She got to the end and turned around.
‘Yes, the carpets respond to vibrations,’ Shri Mataji said. ‘There is an even better one upstairs, an antique one.’ She had a room called the china room, and everything was green, with jade coloured wallpaper, and a Kashmiri rug with green in it. She took me up and showed me how with the vibrations the colours changed.
She told me that things of beauty have vibrations, and natural things have vibrations, so She said that this is the manifestation of vibrations transforming the matter, and they respond to Her.
That is what you desired, isn’t it?
Shri Mataji knew everything. She knew what you were thinking. One day there were a number of the yogis at Brompton Square, wearing suits, and I had come from Australia as a student. I didn’t have a suit or anything like that. I thought I would have to find time to go out and buy one. However, Shri Mataji kept me busy and there was always something happening.
One day She told me that we were going shopping. She told me to get the car and to go to the East End of London. She gave me directions, and we drove off and arrived there.
‘Park the car here,’ She said. I took Her out and we were outside a tailor’s shop. We walked into the shop, and the proprietor knew Shri Mataji.
‘Hello, Mrs Srivastava. How are You?’ he said.
‘I’m very well,’ She replied.
‘What can I do for You today?’ he asked.
‘I want to buy a suit,’ and She turned to me, ‘for this gentleman.’
‘Oh no, Shri Mataji, I can’t accept it,’ I said. ‘Oh my,’ I thought, ‘She has read my mind.’
‘Yes, I can,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘I’m your Mother. I can buy you a suit. That’s what mothers do,’ and She gave me a beautiful suit, and She said, ‘In any case, that is what you desired, isn’t it?’
After that I thought I would have to be really careful not to desire too much or think of anything.
Time is an illusion
When I was new to London and didn’t know the city very well, Shri Mataji used to direct me and tell me where to drive. One day we drove all the way out to Southall. On the way I was trying to take mental notes of all the landmarks so I wouldn’t get lost on the way back. It was a very slow journey and seemed to take forever. Eventually we got to Southall and did some shopping. Shri Mataji bought some Indian groceries as She was entertaining that night.
On the way back we were talking about racism, and the British, how they came into India for four hundred years and ruled and plundered and pillaged. And how the Indians have come to London and work very hard and are doing very well, yet the English really resent that. My attention was completely on what She was saying. On the way back time seemed to go so quickly, and all of a sudden w/e were back at Brompton Square.
‘See, it didn’t take very long to get back, did it?’ Shri Mataji laughed and said.
‘No Shri Mataji, it seemed to be a lot less time than going there,’ I replied.
‘Time is an illusion,’ She said. ‘When you are at Sahasrara, it is a complete illusion. I watched you, and your mind was trying to remember all the landmarks so you wouldn’t get lost on the way back. You were thoughtless on the way back,’ She laughed.
You’re like a barometer
Shri Mataji would tell me to meditate early and every morning I would wake up at Brompton Square. The first day that I was there, I slept in until about seven thirty and I came down after having had a shower.
‘Did you have a good sleep?’ Shri Mataji said.
‘Yes,’ I replied.
‘From now on you need to get up and meditate early. You need to get up at four o’clock. You need to meditate.’
At that stage She told all the people in England to get up and meditate, to overcome the left side and the lethargy. At Brompton Square it was really easy to get up then, because the vibrations were so good. It was effortless to meditate, and most of the time you were just in this blissful awareness. One day I was upstairs with Shri Mataji, cleaning or moving some furniture, and all of a sudden I felt a very heavy Agnya catch.
‘Ah,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘you’re like a barometer. Somebody has come. Every time someone comes in whose vibrations are not good, you register it. Go downstairs and see who it is.’
I went down and someone who had an Agnya catch had arrived.
Love is more important
There was a little toddler who came one day, because her mother was helping to make curtains for Brompton Square. The little girl was about two and a half, and she knocked over a crystal vase and it smashed on the ground. The mother was so upset, and scolded her.
‘No, it’s all right!’ Shri Mataji said. ‘Everything is ok,’ and She cuddled the little girl, who was crying. ‘Material things aren’t important,’ She said. ‘Love is more important and you shouldn’t scold the child so much for material things.’ It was very sweet.
Shri Mataji was much respected and loved by the diplomats’ wives
One day Shri Mataji was having a tea party for the wives of the diplomats that Sir CP was working with. I made watercress sandwiches and other snacks for the ladies, and tea, and brought them up, as if I was a waiter. Shri Mataji was sweet, and was entertaining these ladies like a normal housewife, and it was great to see Her like that. Then She turned round to me.
‘He is one of My disciples,’ She said. All the ladies looked at me and smiled. She had been telling them all about Sahaja Yoga and giving them realisation. It was very interesting to see Shri Mataji in that different aspect.
Shri Mataji had so many aspects. One day She was the housewife of a UN diplomat and suffering all the problems of a normal housewife, and at other times She would be the Goddess, and you could see that manifestation working out. The graciousness and love was always present and She was always very much respected and loved by the diplomats’ wives, and others who came to visit but who did not know who She was. She emitted such vibrations, and Her presence was so special, that people knew She was something special.
Have you eaten?
One day we had all been working and we hadn’t bothered to eat and Shri Mataji came down.
‘Have you eaten?’ She asked us.
‘No, Shri Mataji, we’ve been working, we haven’t had time.’
‘You must eat,’ She said, so we went down to the kitchen and there was some chicken. ‘I will make you all some food.’ She made us an amazing chicken dish called Kashmiri chicken. She got pistachio nuts, ginger, garlic, herbs and spices, and pounded them all up in a grinder. She smeared the paste over the chicken, and then, because we had gone back to working, called us later when it was done.
‘It’s ready now!’ Shri Mataji said, and served us this absolutely delicious dish. There were quite a few of us, and She had also made a biryani rice to go with the chicken, and some okra and vegetables, so it was amazing food.
I felt so honoured to be there in Her presence
Every morning I would make Shri Mataji’s breakfast, and one day I brought it in and She was listening to a tape of an Indian bhajan singer.
‘He has become My disciple,’ She said. ‘He has sent Me this tape that he has released.’ It was a really beautiful bhajan. ‘Sit down,’ Shri Mataji said, and She was having Her breakfast and listening to the tape. As She listened She was translating the words of the bhajan – a beautiful one in praise of Shri Mataji. ‘This is beautiful poetry, in praise of Me.’ I felt so privileged and honoured to be sitting in front of Shri Adi Shakti, with Shri Adi Shakti translating to me these Hindi bhajans.
He was cleared
I was alone with Shri Mataji in Her Brompton Square house, in London. Mother gave me a photograph of an Indian man and asked me to check his vibrations. I put the photograph before me and started to tell from Mooladhara to Sahasrara, one by one. When I finished reading his catches, I felt lot of vibrations start to come from the same photograph, then I saw that Shri Mataji was giving a bandhan to his other photograph — and he was cleared.
There was a rising damp problem at Brompton Square because of a ruptured pipe in the basement. There was marble flooring and the pipes ran through it to keep it warm. One of the pipes had a split in it and had been leaking and spread to the walls. There was a lot of damp even up to the second floor. We had a damp meter, and it measured off the scale wherever we put it in. We put some humidifiers in to try and dry the place out.
Shri Mataji came up and gave vibrations to the wall. Where the meter reading was off the scale before, they put the meter probe back in after She had given vibrations, and the reading showed only a little bit of damp. It was amazing to see the difference, after giving vibrations all the dampness of the wall went away.
That looks better, doesn’t it?
I witnessed many miracles at Brompton Square. At the bottom of the stairs there was a statue of an Indian boy playing the dholak. One day when I was cleaning the house Shri Mataji walked down the stairs and noticed that the sculpture was not formed properly and was anatomically incorrect. /
‘I need to fix this,’ She said.
I was standing up the stairs and another yogi was a little lower and we were both watching it from different angles. What I witnessed was pretty amazing because Mother started giving it vibrations and I saw the actual shape of the wood change. It was as if the shadows became more defined, along the scapula at the back. It became like plastic before my eyes.
‘Yes, Mother I see,’ the other yogi was saying, but I don’t think he really saw it, and then suddenly he said, ‘Yes Mother, I can see! I can see it’s changing!’ He was excited because he could see it. When Shri Mataji had finished the actual form and shape of the sculpture had changed. There was more definition around the back and the muscles at the back were correct.
‘That’s much better! That looks better, doesn’t it?’ She said. ‘Vibrations have the power to transform matter.’
She explained that through vibrations we can change matter, and that matter responds to vibrations. That was an amazing miracle I actually saw.
Something had happened
Another miracle concerned a handsome wooden figure of a kneeling African man. This was on the banisters at the bottom of the stairs. My husband David and I went to the house one afternoon, and the Sahaja Yogis pointed out this figure that had recently arrived and, at Mother’s instructions, they had placed it on the newel post at the end of the banisters. It certainly was a fine piece of work, but the rounded back of the man hadn’t been carved and was completely flat and smooth.
A few days later we were again called to the house and this time Shri Mataji told us to go and look at the kneeling figure, as something had happened to it. It certainly had! The back was no longer plain and smooth, but you could count all his vertebrae and see his muscles. The yogis told us Mother had raised its Kundalini, and then all the muscles had appeared.
It’s all right now, you are cured
Shri Mataji learnt that I had a hole in my heart form birth. One day I took breakfast into Her bedroom at Brompton Square.
‘You never told me you had a heart problem,’ She said.
‘No Shri Mataji,’ I replied.
‘Well, I’d better help you with this.’
She sat me down and put Her Foot on my back over my Left Heart. It was quite an amazing experience because it felt like an incredible blast of vibrations and I could feel the sensation of coolness in my heart blasting the heat out. She went very silent.
‘Turn around,’ Shri Mataji said, and put Her Foot on my chest and went into deep meditation. I could feel layers of stuff coming out from the past, and incredible coolness and joy. She took Her Foot off after five minutes.
‘I had to go back to your previous life to work out some problems, but it’s all right now, you are cured,’ She said.
The doctors had done some tests on this hole, which was actually quite big, and years before they had recommended that I get surgery. I had put off going back to the doctors but after my experience with Shri Mataji I went back and they tested my heart and they found that the hole had become a lot smaller than it was previously. The vibrations from Shri Mataji started the process of the heart healing itself. They still recommended that I have surgery but it was a much simpler procedure, without the need for a Teflon patch as was recommended before. It also meant that I didn’t need to take blood thinning medication for the rest of my life, which would have been the case had the Teflon patch been used. The surgeon was amazed because all the previous tests and x-rays they had done showed there was quite a large hole, and now the hole was visibly smaller. They couldn’t understand why. I attribute it to the vibrations Shri Mataji gave me.
A great sense of peace and homecoming
In 1984 Shri Mataji held a series of public meetings in London and we travelled down to them from Birmingham, where I lived. The first one was my first opportunity to meet Mother in person. I sat in the front row with another girl who had recently started coming to meetings. Afterwards we were told we could go on stage to offer flowers. I hadn’t bought any, not knowing that this was what usually happened, but someone gave me a flower and I queued up to go on stage. When it was my turn I knelt in front of Mother and offered up my flower which She took.
‘Did you get it?’ She asked me and I remember nodding, unable to speak. I stared up at Her and for what must have been a few moments but could have been eternity, I was totally lost. Except lost isn’t the right word because that implies a negative experience and this was wonderful: no thoughts, not even any real awareness of Mother’s face or where I was, no sense of time, it was like being expanded into everything and at the same time feeling a great sense of peace and homecoming. Shri Mataji smiled and touched me under the chin.
‘You are sweet,’ She said, and Her touch brought me back to myself and my surroundings and I realised I must move and let the next person come forward. I went back to my seat and sat in a daze. In a talk a while later Shri Mataji told us to recall the first time we met Her whenever we were experiencing difficulties and each time I do it is like a reaffirmation of that recognition and that this is really where I belong.
I know why we’re lost
When I was staying at Brompton Square in 1984, and we went out shopping in the car, Shri Mataji often used to give me directions because I didn’t know London very well.
‘Turn left here, turn right here,’ She would say. Basically I just followed what She said. After driving Her for a couple of months I thought I knew London fairly well. Then one day we were driving back to Brompton Square, and I took a wrong turn and we ended up in North Kensington. We started driving around.
‘We’re lost,’ Shri Mataji said, ‘we’re in North Kensington. Why are we going into North Kensington? Maybe it is to vibrate the area. Just stop and ask someone where to go.’ So we did so and were told we had to go back the way we had come. I seemed to be getting more and more lost, for about half an hour.
‘I know why we’re lost,’ Shri Mataji said finally. ‘I have to go to a function tonight, and I don’t really want to go, and I have to be back at five o’clock, in time to go to it.’ It was already ten past five. ‘When I go to these functions I have to shake hands with all these people, and I take in all their baddhas and bad vibrations.’
She encouraged us to eat heartily
Once I was driving Shri Mataji with a couple of leaders to go shopping in the Indian area of West London, Southall. After a while She suggested that we had some lunch so we went into an Indian restaurant. We sat at a table and ordered. She encouraged us to eat heartily although I found it difficult as I was rather overawed by Her presence. Back in the car I was tongue-tied, so She asked me if I enjoyed the meal which gave me a chance to say that I had, and to thank Her.
Driving down the main shopping area Shri Mataji asked me to stop so She could go to a certain shop on the other side of the road. I pulled over to the left and Shri Mataji started to get out of the c/ar. I realised that I should have pulled over to the other side as She would have to cross the road which on a Saturday afternoon was extremely busy. However as I jumped out of the car to open Her door, I was amazed to see that all the cars were stopped at pedestrian lights fifty yards in either direction and there was not a single car in between. The stretch of busy Southall Broadway was completely empty! On a Saturday afternoon! Shri Mataji slowly crossed the road and the moment Her Feet touched the opposite pavement the lights turned green and the cars continued to race up and down as before. Naturally by the time She came out of the shop we had got the car to the other side.
Shri Mahamaya – mid eighties
It is amazing that we could be in Her presence and still function. I am reminded of a favourite photo that Shri Mataji used to keep on Her dressing table, showing Her seated on the puja throne, bedecked in puja finery as befits the Goddess, with crown and red painted hands and Feet. It caught a moment when She was putting on Her glasses to read a letter, holding them with Her kumkum painted hand. Shri Mataji would always chuckle whenever She looked at that photo, saying it captured beautifully Her Mahamaya incarnation.
She’ll be fine!
Shri Mataji would go out shopping quite often. She would ask me to get the car and we would go out. We went shopping for overcoats for Her grandchildren who were coming over to stay in England.
‘I want to buy these nice wool overcoats,’ She said, so we went to one of the big department stores. We were coming down the escalator and there was a lady who slipped and landed on her back quite hard. Shri Mataji quickly ran forward and helped the lady up, and then rubbed her back, low down.
‘Are you alright?’ Shri Mataji asked.
‘Yes, I feel fine,’ the lady replied. ‘I feel really good!’ She walked off and Shri Mataji turned to me.
‘Her Kundalini has come up now,’ She said. ‘She’ll be fine.’ Shri Mataji explained that if She touches the sacrum the Kundalini will often respond spontaneously.
You look very fine
It was the first time I had actually gone to meet Shri Mataji at Heathrow Airport. That was in 1984, after getting back from Australia. I was a little nervous about going to the airport. I didn’t have many skirts, and usually wore jeans in those days, and was wearing an acrylic jumper and a skirt a friend had given me. I was a bit worried and when I got to Heathrow there was a small crowd of us. Shri Mataji came out, and walked straight up to me and touched my cheek.
‘You look very fine,’ She said. I had been so anxious about my clothes!
You can’t see in the dark yet
Mother was sleeping in Her bed and I usually slept at the bottom of the bed. She asked me if I had turned the light out, so I did so and then went stumbling back to where I was sleeping.
‘What are you doing? You can’t see in the dark yet, can you?’ Mother said.